After receiving a Notice of Allowance from the USPTO, Orion Genomics expects that by early 2007 it will gain a patent covering its technology that allows researchers to undertake DNA methylation profiling for the first time on a genome-wide scale.

The MethylScope technology is a broad approach to discovering and quantifying the DNA methylation status on each and every gene in the human genome, says Orion. “DNA methylation, an important component of gene regulation, has been strongly linked to cancer in hundreds of publications,” points out Nathan Lakey, CEO and president. “However, the hunt for DNA methylation-based biomarkers has been limited in the past to one gene at a time approaches. With MethylScope technology, Orion is able to conduct unprecedented genome-wide DNA methylation profiling for the discovery of important cancer biomarkers using a fast and cost-effective microarray format. We have successfully used this technology to identify a suite of novel and promising biomarkers for the early detection of breast cancer, our lead product.”

The patent was authored by Orion co- founder, Rob Martienssen from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), Eric Richards from Washington University, Zachary Lippmann from CSHL, and Vincent Colot from Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

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